COLUMBUS, Ind (WISH) – A popular mobile game is invading a central Indiana cemetery, forcing it to make changes.
The toll of a bell is no longer the only disturbance at the Garland Brook Cemetery in Columbus.
“It looks like it’s Memorial Day around here where hundreds of cars driving around the cemetery all at the same time going from grave, to grave, to grave to decorate,” cemetery director Amanda Klei said.
Since Sunday, Garland Brook Cemetery is playing host to hundreds of Pokemon Go users. We drove around with director Klei who spotted people driving while playing.
To try and stop it, employees added signs Thursday. “This has been an extreme surprise, this game here,” Klei said.
Jennifer Palmer is one of those players. “At a lot of the memorials there’s like pictures on your app and you click on it and it pops up as a Pokestop and then you twist it and get stuff,” Palmer said.
With daily funerals, we asked users if they should be playing nearby. “I mean, I don’t know,” Palmer said. “Yeah, I mean, I don’t know what to say to that.”
On Thursday, Veteran Affairs mentioned a similar problem at cemeteries across the country. “We ask that they not do any time of running or walking, and Pokemon is not permitting at our national cemeteries,” Executive Assistant of Midwest District National Cemetery Deborah Kendrick said.
As for the Columbus site, workers have a message for those who continue to drive around. “Let the grieving families that are visiting here, let them have their time,” Klei said.
The cemetery is also working with Google to remove monuments and other markers from the game.